THE Tetzlaff siblings joined their close friend Lars Vogt, directing Royal Northern Sinfonia, for an invigorating evening of music-making that showcased their individual and collective talents at Sage Gateshead.

The concert opened with something completely different, in the shape of contemporary composer Jorg Widmann’s Con Brio. In essence the work is a reconstruction of some of Beethoven’s most vigorous symphonic gestures, with the score requiring wind players to blow breathily into instruments creating a whooshing sound at times.

Rhythms of increasing complexity were driven to an explosive climax by timpanist Marney O' Sullivan.

If some considered it a bit brash, soothing harmonies were brought by cellist Tanja Tetzlaff, who fronted Dvorak’s Rondo for Cello and Orchestra.

Playing with warm and generous tones, she delivered the Bohemian themes at a flowing pace, with swelling support from the RNS.

Robert Schumann’s Overture, Scherzo featured an ominous opening, before the themes took on a sprightly turn with a lovely skittish allegro dance for strings, with oboe and clarinet in close attendance. The overlapping fugal treatment of the finale was deftly handled. All that was missing were the three trombones the work is also scored for.

Christian Tezlaff then stepped up to the plate for Dvorak’s Romance in F Minor for Violin and Orchestra. He played with a glistening delicacy, drawing out the tenderest of singing lines.

The evening was rounded off with the three friends combining their formidable skills in Beethoven’s Triple Concerto.

Vogt moulded a wonderful introduction from RNS, allowing each phrase to breathe, before the soloists entered.

Beethoven gives the cello the dominant role and it was played with a steady authority by Tanja, accompanied by shimmering bowing from her brother and Vogt's scintillating presence at the keyboard. A sense of joy was shared by all in a finale that brimmed with energy.

The encore, Dvorak’s Piano Trio in F minor, rounded off a wholly satisfying evening. 

Gavin Engelbrecht